Proposal talk:Shrubbery

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The talk page for the first version of this proposal has been archived.



One of the suggestions we received was to add a way to mark shrubberies pruned and clipped into aesthetically pleasing shapes. For this purpose we have added shrubbery:topiary=* to the proposal. If this tag name is confusing or unclear, please let us know. --JeroenHoek (talk) 10:52, 9 May 2021 (UTC)

Topiary seems to be the technical term but maybe shrubbery:shape is easier, especially for non-native speakers. For roofs roof:shape is used. --Lkw (talk) 16:31, 9 May 2021 (UTC)
Noted. shrubbery:shape might be a good alternative. --JeroenHoek (talk) 07:59, 12 May 2021 (UTC)

Images in sample section


As far as I remember, you have received some more comments, e.g. not using a term, for the hodgepodge (AE) that what you want to map this under, that is not confusing to native speakers of BE, the lingua franca in OSM. Are you going to address those? --Hungerburg (talk) 23:42, 9 May 2021 (UTC)

Not wanting to sound rude, hope above did not come out like so; Meanwhile I learned, that the scope from previous proposal got limited, but the pictures remained the same, and I have a hard time telling from them, what is the shrubbery? Please annotate the pictures graphically, indicating the bounds projected to flat azimuth! E.g. with yellow marker lines. From a German forum thread hint on the reduction, I conclude, that some of the photos currently under the "samples" section would better be under the "does not apply" section. --Hungerburg (talk) 21:40, 11 May 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the tip. We'll review the images and work on making that section more clear. I think it could be improved to highlight the reduced scope and clarify the boundary between the tags. --JeroenHoek (talk) 07:56, 12 May 2021 (UTC)

Hungerburg please don't abbreviate. What is AE and what is BE? --Kogacarlo (talk) 14:02, 13 May 2021 (UTC)

American English and British English, I suspect. --JeroenHoek (talk) 14:41, 13 May 2021 (UTC)

Keep it simple


You propose an new value for the natural key, to tag patches of trimmed shrubs with a decorative/barrier/filler function. shrubbery looks like an appropriate collectivum for a patch of shrubs, so natural=shrubbery should be fine.

As for density, just tag density=*. It's overly complicated and redundant (and thus a risk for the proposal) to include the object definer in the dimension qualifier. You tag shrubbery, then the density is the density of the shrubbery, and the recommended values are sparse, medium, dense. No need for a kind of reverse namespacing, where you namespace main keys just to subdivide the value set of a secondary attribute.

As for the examples, I know many patches of shrubbery that look like some of your examples of not-shrubbery-but-scrub, but in fact are intentionally trimmed in a fashionable "wild" look. --Peter Elderson (talk) 16:43, 14 May 2021 (UTC)

@Pelderson: Do you have example images for us so that we can improve. You can also send them to me via a OSM message --Cartographer10 (talk) 16:01, 2 June 2021 (UTC)

What about these?

Resolved,4.6062892,3a,74.6y,200.1h,88.71t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ssfDHBT0MWOaEIjaWBI3NGQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=nl&authuser=0 Would these patches be another type of scrub, another type of shrubbery, or another type of natural?

These shrubs would be shrubbery for sure and not scrub. There are there for decorative and space-filling purposes. We are still thinking whether we can subdefine then in a tag shrubbery --Cartographer10 (talk) 15:26, 2 June 2021 (UTC)
Thing is, there are no shrubs. Flowers, herbs, grass & grassy plants, heath, trees, but almost no woody plants. I couldn't call this a type of shrubbery. I wouldn't call it scrub either. Probably leisure=garden would be the best fit. That said, next year all these patches may be shrubs, or just grass, or all tulips.--Peter Elderson (talk) 17:14, 2 June 2021 (UTC)
You are right, trick question. I didn't look good enough. Then this is not covered with our shrubbery tag because there already is a tag for. --Cartographer10 (talk) 18:07, 2 June 2021 (UTC)

Suggestion to reconsider the values


The basic idea of introducing supplemental tags for natural=scrub is good i think. But i would suggest to reconsider the values used:

  • Under the criterion of Verifiability the choice of values is not good. If the pointless fights on natural=wood vs. landuse=forest are any indicator there would - with the current proposal - be many who will say any natural=scrub in Central Europe will be cultivated=full or cultivated=semi - and this way demonstrate the classification to be pointless.
  • For the current suggestion regarding scrub:density it should be noted that people will map scrubland often from imagery so having a tag defined through walkability while people will mostly tag it based on foliage cover density is very likely to result in low quality mapping.

One option for example would be:

  • cultivated=intensely - there are visible signs that the scrubland is intensely managed and gardened by humans to match certain (usually esthetic) requirements.
  • cultivated=yes - there are visible signs that the scrubland receives systematic human maintenance - like the removal of dead twigs and weeds, potentially also occasional cutting back, but no intense shaping of the scrubs like with cultivated=intensely
  • cultivated=no - the scrubland receives no systematic human maintenance on a regular basis. This does not rule out local human interference like cutting free a path.
  • scrub:foliage_density=dense - the scrubland has a full or nearly full foliage cover.
  • scrub:foliage_density=open - the scrubland has an open foliage cover (so ground or underbrush is visible from above) but the foliage still forms a continuous pattern over the area.
  • scrub:foliage_density=sparse - there is only sparse coverage with scrubs with on average so much spacing in between that there is no continuous foliage cover.
  • scrub:ground_density=sparse - the scrubs stand so sparsely that you can/could walk through it without need to touch and push through between the scrubs.
  • scrub:ground_density=open - the scrubs stand more densely but with still enough open space between them so an able-bodied persons could push through.
  • scrub:ground_density=dense - scrubs form a dense thicket that is impassable without damaging the plants.

--Imagico (talk) 10:14, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

Thanks for the critical view.
About the values. Basically what you describe is also what I intend. Indeed cutting free a path trough a forest or scrubland does not make it cultivated. Apparently, this is still not clear in the definitions.
About the values, cultivated=intensely is also cultivated so yes. If yes is introduced, then I think it is better to switch it. The highest value is then cultivated=yes, then cultivated=semi and then cultivated=no. Is that an idea? YOu then only have the potential problem that yes will also be used instead of cultivated=semi. But apart from this, intenselly is maybe better that fully.
Values like `semi` or `medium` are inherently vague. Also a mapper who has doubts about what to tag (because they have no local knowledge for example or only had a quick look) will in many cases choose semi/medium as a substitute for unknown. I know of no case in OSM where such values have been used that do not suffer from poor data quality as a result of the vagueness. Cultivated - yes or no plus intensely as a variation of yes in my eyes is much clearer and better defined. --Imagico (talk) 19:31, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
I understand your way of thinking. I will take it into consideration --Cartographer10 (talk) 19:51, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
About the density. I understand the point and I think for trees, that would be the case. A dense canopy does not mean you cannot walk below the trees. But is it for scrub? Scrub often touches the ground so the dense folioage you see also applies to the ground, right? --Cartographer10 (talk) 18:54, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
natural=scrub is used in a lot of different situations and for many there is a significant difference between the foliage density and the ground density. natural=scrub in OSM means any woody plants higher than heath but less high than full grown trees. An area with young broadleaved trees for example will often develop a dense foliage cover rather quickly but will often be perfectly walkable on the ground. And there are scrublands which are clearly impassable but without full foliage cover.
Also of course the tagging concept could be extended to woodlands as well. --Imagico (talk) 19:31, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
But as soon as you can walk under it, shouldn't it then be more wood/forest? Atleast with scrub I think of scrub that touches the ground. Maybe if you crawl you can go to scrub but most often not. --Cartographer10 (talk) 19:51, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
As said natural=scrub in OSM is used for all kind of woody vegetation higher than heath and less high than full grown trees. The correlation between foliage cover and walkability is often not very strong. I remember many cases of young tree patches maybe 3-4m high, like beech or maple, with full foliage cover but still perfectly walkable. I think it would be good to allow both on-the-ground and remote mappers to tag the properties observable to them and not have to guess one that they cannot reliably observe. --Imagico (talk) 13:59, 16 July 2021 (UTC)
We discussed your density proposal but we decided to stay with density=*. The tags you propose are really specific and outside the scope of this proposal. Feel free to create a proposal for your detailed density tags. We think that density=* for a solid basis and via namespacing, people who know more can specify what you propose. --Cartographer10 (talk) 18:28, 3 August 2021 (UTC)
Starting to see, why you want "cultivated" not "manicured". Looks like the proposal changed scope more than a little. From my point of view, the most interesting new twist is "densitiy". As my main interest is in hiking, including off-path, I would welcome and support an outcome, that can be applied to woods/forests just the same.
In the area that I am comfortable with, scrub mostly means, impassable, whereas wood means, passable. That is fine and dandy, no need for any extra tags or attributes. If it were not for the, quite large areas, where scrubs or trees are spaced far from each other to allow for grasses to get enough light to grow. That means, making the area passable per pedes possible in the scrub case and a joyful experience in the wood case. Occasionally, this is purposefully mapped as a dual landuse/natural, which looks nice in OSM-Carto, but is not actually concise in its meaning.
This not to be meant to subvert even more granular distinctions. This just an example of what will be affected when vote comes to pass. --Hungerburg (talk) 21:54, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
Well, manicured just doesn't seen right. Cultivated is better here. That indeed changed the scope more then a little but that is what it takes to continue the shrubbery proposal as extension to natural=scrub. About the density, several people already mentioned to be interested in that no matter the outcome of the proposal. Because you wrote under the topic of imagico, what do you think about the density tags as described by Imagico? One density tag for all or two seperate? --Cartographer10 (talk) 12:38, 25 July 2021 (UTC)
Hmm, I did post under this section, because it goes into depth about density, and also because it mentions woods. And I feel, woods are in dire need of a density attribute too! Perhaps I just made some noise, please excuse if off-topic all too much.
As has been said above and more recently below, mapping customs in deciding between wood and scrub are not to be trusted too much. Around my home place, lots of areas with trees are mapped as scrub. BTW, mentions the term "cultivation". The occasional and rare clearcuts or areas devastated by avalanches are also mapped as "scrub" quite often. First come the - only then come the young trees, even if planted. The area gets swapped to wood/forest only after the trees have grown so tall, that the shrubs have lost the game.
Following this scheme, ground-density with shrubs is always "dense" and with trees is almost always "no". From that perspective, the distinction between ground and top layer, one based on the impression from aerial imagery, the other based on walkability, makes little sense.
So thinking further, how to avoid namespacing, toying around with the words "canopy" (top) and "understorey" (bottom) layers, I realised, that wood needs three "densities", perhaps four, because, you know, the understorey can be made of shrubs! All the while I think, if it were not for the example mentioned above with some yound woods, scrub perhaps can use a single one, not density, but* --Hungerburg (talk) 23:34, 26 July 2021 (UTC)
Spacing (the proposal) has metrical distances; From a mapping point of view, for scrubs and woods, (orchards, …), two values "dense" and "light/sparse" might be enough, IMO; defined as something that can be seen from aerial. Passibility, traversabilty would be another key then, between impenetrable and fine, going a high risk to be called subjective - If called "density", would that be better then? Could that be proposed without namespacing? --Hungerburg (talk) 08:15, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

Please do not widen the definition of natural=scrub

natural=scrub is used to tag scrub(land), i.e. uncultivated land covered with shrubs, bushes or stunted trees. This is was the tag value implies and what is defined on the wiki. Scrubland and areas covered with ornamental shrubs are very different, both in terms of appearance, species and ecosystem. Therefore, i think it is a bad idea to widen the definition of natural=scrub to also include cultivated shrubs (shrubbery). Besides, many natural=scrub areas would suffer information loss.

Unfortunately, i don't have a better solution than what you proposed before (natural=shrubbery). It's a pity that the proposal counts as rejected although 64% 55% was in favour of (what would be considered a large majority in a plebiscite) Edit: There number of nays in the archived proposal is wrong. There were 31 nays, not 21. Maybe the threshold at which a proposal is considered accepted should be lowered to an absolute majority (50% + 1 vote). --Dafadllyn (talk) 21:42, 23 July 2021 (UTC)

I understand your position, but the cold facts are that there is, unfortunately, not enough support for a separate tag. So there are two options: this proposal is accepted and cultivated will give you a way to separate man-managed shrubbery and hedges from wild scrubland (not ideal, but with presets and perhaps even rendering support this could become common for cultivated shrubs), or, the status quo is kept, which means that you have absolutely no way of knowing that any natural=scrub is actually a bunch of planted and neatly pruned bushes in the middle of a parking lot. No amount of wiki documentation stressing that natural=scrub is only for wild scrubland is going to turn back the clock on that one. --JeroenHoek (talk) 06:52, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
I'm unsure if there is enough support for widening the definition of natural=scrub either. Only 10 people (14%) thought that natural=scrub should also be used for "areas with managed shrubs". Unfortunately they didn't seem to understand that the difference between scrubland and shrubbery is not only about being managed or not, but about native vs. alien or cultivated shrubs. (Of the other people who rejected the proposal, 8 thought that the natural=* key should not be used for something that is not purely natural – although natural=* is already used for other features created or modified by humans – and another 13 people rejected the proposal for other reasons.)
I see at least two other options:
  • natural=shrubbery continues to be used despite being rejected and at some time becomes a de facto tag.
  • The threshold for a proposal being accepted is lowered to the absolute majority, natural=shrubbery is voted on again and is accepted.
In my opinion, misusing a tag harms the quality of OpenStreetMap and should be corrected, not accepted. If there is no approved or de facto tag, one could either remove the wrong tag and add a note=* or use a new tag that one think makes most sense. --Dafadllyn (talk) 20:54, 24 July 2021 (UTC)
The voting tally is a little more complex. Many no-votes without any explanation supported the standpoint of @Jo Cassel: ( which comes down to "use natural=scrub for areas". (Some of the German no-voters did not explain so on the voting page; they did do so on the German OSM-forum though. These vocal no-voters are currently all on holiday apparently.)
Using natural=shrubbery as an 'in use' tag is a possible strategy, and a change in voting procedure is as well. We'll let this version run its course first though. --JeroenHoek (talk) 06:23, 7 August 2021 (UTC)

Please do not widen the definition of natural

natural=* was originally used for natural features. I see in the chronology, adding few words, the domain natural seems not just natural onlyː why we need to mix things belonging to different domains? When OSM was a young project we did it with amenity; now amenity is a huge collection of very different things. So, let's try to learn from our juvenile errors. --Ale Zena IT (talk) 08:54, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

Please do not explicitly exclude forests/woods


The question of whether scrubland-like forests (for instances, compartments under natural regeneration) are to be mapped with natural=scrub or landuse=forest/natural=wood have never been decided AFAIK. During the talks about two failed proposals about mapping forests, some mappers raised the issue, and it seems that, though using natural=scrub to map such areas is a disputed custom, some mappers still map such areas this way, simply because the area looks like a scrubland, and that by-passers may not be able to distinguish it from a true, natural scrubland. My point is that the proposal should either try to solve the dispute (I agree this may be unpractical) or do not choose a side by explicitly preventing forests/woods. IMO, it should leave the question open and say something like "You may use this tag for forests/woods which look like scrubland, but be warned that using natural=scrub for such areas is a disputed tagging custom.". This way, the issue would be explicitly left out of proposal scope and could gather wider consensus by preventing such natural=scrub mappers to vote no because they feel that your proposal invalidates this mapping custom. Penegal (talk) 18:01, 25 July 2021 (UTC)

This proposal really presents no opinion on this matter. It is way out of scope. I can add a note to that effect if that reassures you. --JeroenHoek (talk) 06:45, 4 August 2021 (UTC)
This was a misunderstanding. The user was refering to the sentence "For vegetation where the bushes act as ground-cover for a forest or clump of trees, the tags landuse=forest or natural=wood are preferred.". that was not intended as any response on the dispute you are refering to. It was more meant as "if the forest floor is covered in bush/shrubbery then look at natural=wood or landuse=forest" instead, for example as on this image . So just a clarification that these should be tagged as forest --Cartographer10 (talk) 18:32, 4 August 2021 (UTC)

The tagging section

The tagging section utterly fails to address the consequences of recent changes in the proposal: You went from creating a new value "shrubbery" for the natural key into proposing subkeys for "natural=scrub". Still, out of 9 proposed tags, 8 only apply to "shrubbery" and only 1 applys to "scrub", namely "maintained=no". Your reactions on talking points show, that you yourselves seem not aware of that shift neither. --Hungerburg (talk) 19:49, 4 August 2021 (UTC)

We are proposing three keys. scrub:density=* is applicable to all of natural=scrub, and is in fact already in use — we co-opted it. The other key maintained=* applies to all of natural=scrub too. Only scrub:shape=* is specific to topiaries. You yourself suggested the use of a subkey in the comment for your no-vote on natural=shrubbery. Of course, anyone who wishes to can just ignore these tags and keep on mapping actual wild scrublands with just natural=scrub. Who knows, if these additional keys become popular enough, the documented default of natural=scrub can even become 'wild natural shrubs or scrubland' (maintained=no). Of course without a proposal like this the end result is that natural=scrub will simply remain 'any sort of bushy area', which is the (overwhelming) status quo due to lack of alternatives. --JeroenHoek (talk) 07:11, 5 August 2021 (UTC)
I am not principally against sub-tagging; I only think, the promise "can be used on any natural feature" does not deliver. --Hungerburg (talk) 21:34, 6 August 2021 (UTC)
I also consider, a sentence like "Who knows … the documented default can even become 'wild natural shrubs or scrubland'" i.e. what it is now, a bit weird. --Hungerburg (talk) 21:39, 6 August 2021 (UTC)
natural=scrub explicitly mentions that it is used for shrubberies as well (not that it should be used like that, but that it undeniably is). We tried to introduce a separate tag for that, which didn't succeed and which you voted against yourself. So now we offer a way to distinguish between true natural scrubland and cultivated beds of shrubs. If that succeeds, the documentation can at some point move towards defaulting to natural scrubland if maintained=* is missing, and consider shrubberies (i.e., man-managed shrubs) mapped as natural=scrub without maintained=* a mapping error. Currently, data consumers cannot make this assumption, because of the de facto use of natural=scrub for cultivated areas. By voting against this as well you are implicitly stating that the status quo should continue, and natural=scrub will remain the go to tag for mappers adding shrubby details to urban areas. --JeroenHoek (talk) 06:12, 7 August 2021 (UTC)

Final state of the proposal page

This proposal was voted on in two voting rounds. The second iteration represented a compromise incorporating the biggest issue raised by voters in the first iteration: i.e., no separate tag should be introduced; use natural=scrub. This second iteration was rejected even more strongly, and we as proposal authors have completely abandoned that approach. Instead, we have started using natural=shrubbery as proposed in the first iteration, with a few minor adjustments based on feedback received during the voting.

To keep the voting history and the state of both proposal iterations clear, this proposal page links to the post-voting states of both iterations. Please leave it like that unless a third iteration is proposed.

@Adamant1: Reverting the proposal page to the post-voting state of the second iteration isn't helpful in this particular case. We've left it as an index to both iterations on purpose, in particular because we are championing natural=shrubbery. --JeroenHoek (talk) 06:34, 23 August 2021 (UTC)

People gave important reasons for why the proposal was rejected in their votes. How exactly is it not helpful to have that information? It's not like you can't retain the information/votes and also have it as an index to both iterations. Their literally just links. In the meantime, the complete context of why a proposal is rejected or accepted should be retained in the article where people can read over it if they want to. Retaining the final state of the second proposal on the page is a perfectly fine way to that. Especially since it's what the information box is about, not the first one. --Adamant1 (talk) 14:06, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
There were two voting rounds, equally important for the whole story of this proposal. People gave important reasons during both — hence the index page to provide quick access to both post-voting pages. Archiving the proposal also has the benefit of not clashing with the current documentation, and, more importantly, of not further propagating the compromise proposal of augmenting natural=scrub. If the comments made one thing clear, it is that that variant is seen as inferior to natural=shrubbery by those who supported it as a compromise. If the proposal page should show anything, it would be the first iteration voted upon, but since this is already covered by natural=shrubbery this would only lead to more confusion. Besides, archiving a proposal is not uncommon or anything. What exactly are you worried about? The information is right there. --JeroenHoek (talk) 16:07, 24 August 2021 (UTC)
Your summary is fine. Thanks. At least people can get the gist of it by looking at the article now. --Adamant1 (talk) 19:04, 29 August 2021 (UTC)